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SarniaLo

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About SarniaLo

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    France
  • Interests
    Sailing, photography
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Hurtigruten
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Arctic & Antarctic
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    http://voyageterremer.blogspot.com

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  1. The Norwegian government has asked Hurtigruten to reduce its current traffic to the ports between Bodø and Kirkenes (as it was during the spring). This way the two ships currently in service will call in port every three day, insuring the vital transport service that these communities need during winter. This is to be effective from Oct 24th and until further notice, but expected to last for some time, unless the other 13 affected ports in the South protest. I can currently only find info in Norwegian : https://www.nrk.no/nordland/hurtigruten-skal-kun-seile-bodo-kirkenes-pa-kystruten-bergen-kirkenes-1.15197856 which can be Google translated but I'm sure it will be picked up by English-speaking medias soon. This is not very good omen for the future of the coastal service... And definitely bad news for everyone booked with Hurtigruten until the end of the year. But good news for local Northern communities I think.
  2. Usually when they have available cabins you can get an upgrade at boarding but not for free, you have to pay something (less than what it would have cost you originally, but still). I have been upgraded for free a couple of times on a port-to-port journey, I had booked an unspecified inside cabin and got a cabin with a view. But I have their frequent travellers card. I've never been upgraded on a full round trip. However all this was pre-Covid and I don't know if their policy have changed about that especially if the ships are less full.
  3. Offical info on Hurtigruten's website : https://global.hurtigruten.com/practical-information/coronavirus-update/sailings-and-cancellations/
  4. Do you have a link for this, as I can find nothing on the official websites (except info that the list of countries authorised from July 15th will be released on July 10th). Many thanks!
  5. I think this trip is only for German passengers. I guess the hope is that Germany will be on the "allowed" list into Norway from July 15th and Hurtigruten can then introduce port stops.
  6. If Hurtigruten can't give you this confirmation (have you asked them?) I doubt that anyone on this board can. Especially in these times when we are not even sure what will be allowed next week, let alone next year.
  7. Not strictly true. It is possible to land from ships up to 500 passengers, but the landings spots allowed for ships carrying between 200 and 500 passengers are limited. And because of logistics (always less than 100 people ashore at the same time), time ashore from those ships is limited and usually they can only do one landing per day (weather permitting). For instance the two newest Hurtigruten ships (MS Roald Amudsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen), both hybrid ships, will be allowed in Antarctica under the new Polar Code, and carry up to 500 passengers, and passengers can land. But agree with you that, for me, as far as a ship in Antarctica is concerned, the smaller the better 😉 .
  8. Except in Stanley, where you get some excursions, you do have to go with the flow in the Falklands if you land on smaller islands. You get ashore and walk around and see the wildlife, there isn't much you can organize in advance there. You can pick excursions in Stanley, from the ship or DIY. Spots are usually limited so it can be a good idea to book in advance if you want to do an excursion. If you want to DIY, then be sure that the excursion is cancellable last minute, as it is always possible that the ship will not dock in Stanley on the expected day (weather conditions prevail). Stanley is nice (but quick) to visit and has a lovely and informative local history museum.
  9. Yes exactly. And I've heard (from people who work in Svalbard) that Hurtigruten has been one of the operator pushing hard to allow for cruises to Svalbard to resume this summer, and they are now actually allowed, for ships carrying less than 250 passengers, so I very much expect them to try to run some cruises at least. Of course only the nationalities allowed in Norway will be allowed to enter Svalbard, so as of today June 15th (and at least until July 20th), that means people from Norway (of course), Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Greenland and Faroe Islands (and the Swedish province of Gotland, strangely enough). Whether that's enough people to fill up ships, I don't know. It's possible that people will be allowed from less-infected European country (such as Germany) from July 20th. This is the press release about this from the Norwegian government (see last paragraph about Svalbard) : https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/norway-opening-up-for-more-leisure-travel-to-and-from-the-other-nordic-countries/id2706368/ Cruises companies have received guidelines with sanitary measures, and I have understood that one of the measures is operating the ship at half-capacity only to allow for physical distancing on board, but I don't have a link, so don't quote me on that.
  10. That's only for some ships, not all of them. Hurtigruten's ships comply to the regulations allowing them to keep on sailing to Antarctica (mostly regulations about the type of engine and fuel). That concerns mostly bigger ships that do "cruise-by".
  11. Were did you see that? I do not see this exactly like this on Hurtigruten's webpage and cruises for ships of 250 passengers or less are actually allowed in Svalbard from July 1st, so I'm surprised at least by the cancellation of Svalbard cruises. To be fair that's only for the nationalities allowed in mainland Norway, which currently are only people from Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Greenland and Faroe Islands only, so I suppose if you are not from one of those countries then indeed it works as if all cruises are cancelled. But' I'd be curious to know if Hurtigruten is still trying to run some trips in Svalbard. Currently those in July and August are not shown as cancelled : https://www.hurtigruten.com/practical-information/coronavirus-update/cancelled/departures/
  12. That is not up to date : https://www.utl.is/index.php/en/about-directorate-of-immigration/news Restriction to members outside of EU/Schengen may last at least until the end of June. Currently it's possible to enter Iceland from within Europe if you comply to 14 days quarantine, and testing at the airport is to be developed from June 15th : https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2020/06/08/up_to_2_000_tests_a_day/ Many practical questions still remains (such as : what happens if more than 2000 people arrive on a given day?).
  13. As far as I'm aware, there have been no cases in Antarctica. Also Greenland is currently free (the few that got sick have recovered, and the disease has not spread), and there have been no official cases in Svalbard at all (although they are not testing much). There are a handful of places with no current active cases, most are small island with low density population : https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries (sort by "active cases"), but indeed very few places that have not known the virus so far.
  14. Hurtigruten (as most companies) is currently short on staff as they have laid off a very large part of their employees. They probably have to handle thousands of similar claims for refund or rebooking. Time spend reading and replying multiple emails from the same customer asking the same question is time they cannot spend on actually processding the claims. I think this message was sent automatically to all people who have requested refunds because there were some heated discussions on social media from people stating they required communication from Hurtigruten with confirmation that they were indeeed processing refunds, and an indication of a timeline. Some people were even urging others to send emails to the CEO. I appreciate that this email is written in a very direct way and without florishes, but that is also a bit the Norwegian way. If they say that they are handling it, I think they are. Best of luck, I understand this is quite a stressful situation to be in.
  15. The Christmas market in Champs Elysees has been discontinued a couple of years ago (MeHeartCruising it's possible you were at the last edition). The main Christmas Market is now in Tuileries, but it's not 100% guaranteed it will happen again this year. There are some smaller markets around town usually.
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